A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durham vs. Virginia Beach for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durham or Virginia Beach?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Durham and Virginia Beach can help you decide which place is right for you.

Durham

Durham is a city in central North Carolina with about 230,000 residents. Together with Raleigh and Chapel Hill, it forms the Research Triangle area. Durham is often referred to as the "City of Medicine" and is home to the famous Duke University.

Durham's history is rooted in tobacco. The Duke family established American Tobacco, which controlled 90% of all cigarette production in the US during the second half of the 19th century. The family donated money to Trinity College, which changed its name to Duke University in 1924.

Today much of Durham's economy is centered around the university and Research Triangle Park. The area has many technology and pharmaceutical jobs and the economy continues to grow.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. It's a popular beach destination and has many of the characteristics of most southeastern beach towns. There are many activities that you can enjoy and there's a concrete boardwalk that runs parallel to the water for about three miles. The boardwalk is a fun place to walk or bicycle. The beach itself is wide and sandy and is a great place to soak up some sun. During the summer months and school holidays it can get quite crowded and you might struggle to find a place for your towel and beach chairs. There are also many beach side resorts that line the water front. Most have pools and hot tubs where you can relax and some hotels have indoor pools as well, which can be nice during the cool winter months.

Which city is cheaper, Virginia Beach or Durham?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Durham is $130, while the average daily cost in Virginia Beach is $104. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Durham and Virginia Beach in more detail.



Accommodation

Durham's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $146. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $73.

The prices for places to stay in Virginia Beach can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $60, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $120.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $73
    Virginia Beach $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $146
    Virginia Beach $120

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Durham cost around $35 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $14.

Food in Virginia Beach costs travelers about $25 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Durham $35
    Virginia Beach $25

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Durham.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Virginia Beach than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $31 on transportation in Virginia Beach on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $26
    Virginia Beach $31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:

  • Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN): $407
  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $139

Typical Local Transportation prices in Virginia Beach

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:


  • Beach Parking
    $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Virginia Beach?

Prices for flights to both Virginia Beach and Durham change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Durham. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in Virginia Beach, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $21
    Virginia Beach $17

Tours and Activities in Durham

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Durham are as follows:

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Durham: $41

Tours and Activities in Virginia Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Virginia Beach.

  • Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour of Linkhorn Bay: $41
  • Wetland Zip Tour: $61
  • Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours: $62
  • Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour: $62
  • RIDE ALONG GREEK GODS & AQUATISM *Certified Tours*: $75
  • Tour of Virginia Beach (half day), for GROUPS of 10-16: $499
  • Tour of Virginia Beach, for GROUPS of 10-16: $831
  • All-Inclusive, Autumn Weekend Tour for GROUPS of 10-16: $5,901

Alcohol

The average person spends about $27 on alcoholic beverages in Durham per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Virginia Beach, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.51.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $27
    Virginia Beach $8.51


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and Virginia Beach, we can see that Durham is more expensive. And not only is Virginia Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Virginia Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Virginia Beach and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Durham would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Durham than you might in Virginia Beach.

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Durham vs. Virginia Beach Travel Comparison

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